06 July 2015

"...And With Outpoured Wrath"

19 Tamuz 5775

People like to moan and say, "We have no prophets today! If only we had a prophet to tell us what to do." Why do you think we have the written words of the prophets of old? Why do they speak of a time much future to their own - our time? These are our prophets for all time. But, are we prepared to heed their words any more than the people of their own time did? To my great sorrow, I think not.

Do yourself a favor and read chapter 20 of the Prophet Yechezkel. It's an unbelievable thing.

It's the Tenth of Av after the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar. The Jews are in Babylon and they come to Prophet Yechezkel for a consultation. The Stone Edition Tanakh commentary says the following:
The elders were in shock that God had apparently spurned Israel, and they asked whether they still owed Him allegiance. If they were no longer His Chosen People, why couldn't they be like all the other nations? Yechezkel responded that they were wrong. Even their exile and oppression were functions of their chosenness; Israel was being punished because it had fallen short of its mission. But, as Yechezkel says in verses 32-33, Israel is not free to join the nations.
...God instructed Yechezkel to tell the protesting elders of the national shortcomings over the course of history, in Egypt, the Wilderness, and in Eretz Yisrael.
Imagine! Hashem prizes Eretz Yisrael so highly that He feels the ultimate punishment is expulsion from the Land. And yet, the elders of the Jewish people seem almost relieved at the thought that they may be free of its burden. 

Hear the words of Hashem as recorded by the prophet. Hear how proudly and lovingly He speaks of His Divine gift of Eretz Yisrael...
"...I raised My hand for them, [swearing] to take them out from the land of Egypt to the Land that I had sought out for them - [a land that] flows with milk and honey, a splendor for all the lands."
Hashem knew that this perverse attitude would not be restricted to Yechezkel's time period, but would remain an issue for all time; therefore, Hashem said...
"...I will rule over you with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. I will take you out from the nations and gather you from the lands to which you were scattered, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath; and I will bring you to the Wilderness of the Nations and I will contend with you there, face to face. Just as I contended with your forefathers in the Wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I contend with you - the word of the Lord Hashem/Elokim. I will make you pass under the rod and bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will separate from among you those who rebel and those who transgress against Me; I will take them out of the land of their sojourning, but they will not come to the soil of Israel; then you will know that I am Hashem."
We've seen this "strong hand and outstretched arm" (b'yad chazakah uvizero'a netuyah) imagery before - in the references to the first redemption (Shemot 6.6, Devarim 4.34, Devarim 5.15, etc). But, something new has been added here to the description of the process of the final ingathering of the complete redemption - "with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath" (b'yad chazakah uvizeroa netuyah uv'chemah shefukhah). Why with "outpoured wrath"? Why is Hashem so angry? What's different this time? The context provides the clues.

First of all, this is addressed to those whom Hashem has come to take out from among the nations, so they are obviously not yet in Eretz Yisrael. And it takes place within the context of Diaspora leadership asking the Prophet whether they have any further responsibility to G-d or to His Land now that they have been cast out. They express that they would be happy to become like the rest of the nations living outside of Eretz Yisrael, (i.e. they've discovered that life is easier and materially richer outside the Land). 
"...I will take you out from the nations and gather you from the lands to which you were scattered, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath...."
The logical connection is that the vast majority of those who choose to remain in the Diaspora at the End of Days do so out of a reticence to commit themselves to the higher spiritual (lower material) standard required of those who live in the Holy Land. I have actually heard a rabbi say that it's better for Jews not to make aliyah because their sins are judged more harshly in Eretz Yisrael!

Regardless of the government, which is only a disguise after all, the Land of Israel has never been more open and more welcoming of its children since the fall of the Second Temple!! Do you think this is not Yad Hashem? When Hashem has answered our prayers after two-thousand years and made us such a gift and we reject it, of course, He is angry! Instead of running home to Him with open arms, you make Him come and get you!
"...I will make you pass under the rod and bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will separate from among you those who rebel and those who transgress against Me...."
It appears from the text that all those who remained behind will be judged on their motives and those who are found to have acted out of rebellion or as a result of sin will suffer the full wrath of Hashem

"...I will take them out of the land of their sojourning, but they will not come to the soil of Israel; then you will know that I am Hashem."

Notice that Hashem distinguishes between "you" and "them". To "you" Hashem has said "I will make you pass under the rod and bring you into the bond of the covenant." As the Gemara (Ketubot 110b) relates: "...one who lives in Israel is as if he has a God and one who lives outside is as if he has no God."

So, those among the Jewish people who rebelled and sinned against Hashem will be forced to leave the Diaspora, but they won't be allowed to enter Eretz Yisrael. I leave their final destination to your imagination. As to the "you" group spoken of here, those who are being removed from the Diaspora but who have been judged not to be rebelling or sinning against Hashem, this will be their end...
"...on My holy mountain, on the mountain on the height of Israel - the word of the Lord Hashem/Elokim - there the entire House of Israel, all of it, will serve me in the land; there I will accept them favorably,.... Then you will know that I am Hashem, when I bring you to the soil of Israel, to the land about which I raised My hand [in oath] to give to your forefathers."
There were survivors from the Holocaust, too, but do you really want to try to live through something like that when you don't have to?   

In the Amida prayer, we say, "...raise the banner to gather the exiles and gather us together from the four corners of the earth." This "banner" was raised on 11 September 2001! The whole world saw it!! Not one Jew alive did not know about it!!! 

There has been an almost fourteen year grace period. Those who are teenagers now - "too old" to make the move to Eretz Yisrael today - were toddlers then. What stopped you from beginning to make your preparations and organizing your life to come home then?

This is also when NBN got started and the whole aliyah process became so much easier than ever before. The lack of response to Hashem's efforts to bring us home is an insult. He won't allow it to pass without a mida k'neged mida answer from Him - "and with outpoured wrath."

17 comments:

  1. Those of you who say staying in chu"l is not about the money and then follow up by saying you need thousands to relocate, you're just kidding yourselves. The Ethiopians did it with nothing. The Yemenites did it, the Moroccans and Iraqis did it. The Russians did it. And today, even the Sudanese, Eritreans, Nigerians, Chinese, Koreans and Ghanans are all doing it along with hundreds, if not thousands, of Western Xian missionaries. And these are all doing it either illegally or as tourists and without government help and yet they're surviving here and even having their next generation here, God help us!! The goyim want to take over and they can do it because there aren't enough Jews who are willing to come!! :-(

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  2. Some of you want to spread fairy tales like the Xians do - telling people what sounds good and positive and loving to you, but even though it might make you feel better, it's not true. Best let God's word stand as it is and speak for itself and stop censoring what people hear out of fear they'll be upset by it.

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  3. This is one great post. Kol HaKavod. Two questions. There is no mention of the non-believing Jews already in Israel (Erev Rav and anti-Religion secularists)? Did I miss a sentence?

    Also, about that 9/11 banner; please explain. While I was in lower Manhattan on 9/11 and witnessed much, I don't understand what you mean by a banner. Also, I was prepared to return to Eretz HaKodesh (before 1989), but I had to fulfill a tafkid that Hashem sent me, to bury my sister and then my Mother a"h (a making amends with my family) and getting my husband's agreement to live here, before even leaving. So, I understand when some say they cannot go because of 'obligations' that keep them in the Diaspora. However, they should definitely begin the process with NBN, which does take some time and actually creates emotional incentive.

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    1. The Hebrew is 'nes' translated in siddurim as flag, pennant, standard, ensign, banner, but of course, it also means miracle. Something raised up high as a sign. A whole lot of people did make aliyah in the wake of that event, just like a lot of people made aliyah when Hitler came to power. They didn't wait around to see how it would all turn out.

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    2. Sorry, forgot to address your first question. This prophecy doesn't address the issue of what's going on in EY during the same time, but we know from other sources that the same kind of birur will have already taken place here. After all, Mashiach will already be active in EY.

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  4. @Neshama -- The Zohar says the erev-rav will fight mashiach when he arrives, and you can pretty much guess what happens after that.

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  5. I have worked in high tech in Israel since I made aliyah in 1993. After a recent search, I know from personal experience that the local job market for experienced developers is extremely robust right now. Tel Aviv and Haifa especially. Even Jerusalem has seen a noticeable uptick in entrepreneurial activity recently. Given the general trend of the dollar, getting paid in shekels is getting more attractive all the time.

    We all have own cheshbonos, but I have a difficult time understanding why there are so many frum Yidden who work in high tech and continue to live in chutz l'aretz.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that with us, Shimshon.

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  6. To my readers - Although it may not seem like it, I actually have great sympathy for anyone who seriously wants to make aliyah and is having a hard time. For years, I gathered information and answered emails and provided encouragement to people who contacted me saying they wanted to come. But, then I found that a lot of those people were kidding themselves and me as well.

    A few years ago, I was working for a Jewish institution and got a call from someone in chu"l who started talking about how much she' d love to make aliyah but "just couldn't afford it." She sounded sincere and I - always eager to help - started explaining about all the possible options and encouraging her with personal details of my own aliyah. She sounded like she appreciated what I was telling her, but awhile after we hung up, my boss came down and said he had received a complaint. It was from this woman and as a result, I had to call her up and make an apology. It kind of put me off getting involved any more with people on the subject of aliyah. Plus a family I was close to who I had encouraged to come for years, gave up and went back after seven years. People who go back don't know what an impact it makes on those who are left behind.

    Aliyah can be a tough subject for everyone. But, what it comes down to is...it's a mitzvah.

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  7. It's all going to be moot anyway. Times up. Between what's happening with the world markets because of the Greek default and the war between ISIS and Egypt in the Sinai, we've moved up another whole level since 17 b'Tamuz. This is why Jade Helm was scheduled now. Those at the top know. 9 days til J-H.

    - a voice in the wilderness

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    1. Oh, and wait til tomorrow when Kerry announces that the talks with Iran have broken down. Maybe by then ISIS will have shut the Suez Canal.

      - a voice in the wilderness

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    2. You're probably right.

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  8. So since our comment blog conversation, I have called NBN and got in touch with their employment office bureau. They have sent m eth email link which I will pass on to my husband etc...We think that since we have family in Tzefat (sister and brother-in-law and many nieces and nephews etc...) that a soft landing may be Tzefat.
    Also, we need to look at English speaking schools for kids to help with this.
    I used to be intimidated with others who would said to put them in so they will learn Hebrew, yet from what I found when I made a pilot trip, many communities are opening up more English centered/ Hebrew split to help with this.
    They way I look at it, it's better to get there and not worry so much about the language barriers as they will learn in school and it takes years. It's not overnight...
    Any info is appreciated, Devash.

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    1. Leah, I need your email address. If you could send it via the one I provided for you...
      Thanks.

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  9. Leah, kids pick up the language fast. My teenagers didn't understand anything in class; they went against the rules and attended adult ulpan for a short while, and soon they were fluent too. you get used to miracles. don't think, don't worry, just come. we did that and the only regret is not coming sooner--savta

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  10. Leah, IY"H once you get over these hurdles, get settled in Israel, and look back on everything, you will be so surprised at your reaction. Those hurdles will have melted away and life will be exciting for you and your family. I wish you much hatzlacha and Bracha in your endeavors.

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  11. Surge in French aliyah spurred by start-up nation
    Unprecedented rise in immigration from France is not only due to security problem; young Jews overwhelmingly feel Israel is more attractive economically than France.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4676931,00.html

    - a voice in the wilderness

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